Underserved communities at highest risk, foster children particularly vulnerable
According to recent statistics, up to 60% of child sex trafficking victims have been or are in foster care, and a third of vulnerable youth report running away or being kicked out before falling prey to trafficking. Foster children of color are disproportionately at risk of being trafficked, highlighting intersectional systemic vulnerabilities.
Survivor T Ortiz’s story illustrates the exploitation of trust. Trafficked since age five, Ortiz recounts how a barber subjected her to trafficking. Despite being in state custody, Ortiz faced abuse and exploitation through age 17, underscoring the need for protective measures in foster care.
“You have a young person who already now doesn’t trust adults, and is not getting the connection that they need from their caseworker. They’re not getting what they need. They are leaning more towards traffickers.” – Binley Taylor, director of system change at FosterClub